Welcome to Our Unified Schools — a blog run by Special Olympics Northern California & Nevada to showcase our Schools Partnership Program!
Contact us at ourunifiedschoolsblog at sonc.org.
We Blog About…
Special education, Special Olympics in the schools, K-12 public schools in Northern California & Nevada, lesson plans, kindness, human dignity, spreading the word to end the r-word, and more!
What is Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada?
Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. There are 22,052 athletes who compete in 184 competitions throughout the regions in 11 sports. Special Olympics requires the extraordinary support and time of 20,395 volunteers and volunteer coaches. Financial support comes almost exclusively from individuals, organizations, corporations and foundations. For more information on Special Olympics Northern California, visit www.SONC.org and visit www.SONV.org for Nevada.
What Is the Schools Partnership Program?
It’s a unique education program in K-12 public schools that unifies disabled and non-disabled students to bring acceptance and respect to schools. Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada provides a grant to a public school or district and helps the teachers instruct their special education students in sports. The Schools Partnership Program takes place during the school day with training and fitness integrated into the classroom. The special education student-athletes train and compete in three seasonal sports – soccer (fall), basketball (winter) and track & field (spring). For many, this is the first opportunity to compete, be a part of a team or be cheered on by family and friends. More about the Schools Partnership Program
Is the Schools Partnership Program Just for Special Education Students?
Nope! While the special education students definitely do benefit from the Schools Partnership Program, the general education students are also impacted. By interacting with the special education students, the non-disabled peers (also known as mainstream students) learn to respect and accept those with intellectual disabilities. The Schools Partnership Program helps alleviate any bullying on a campus because the two groups of students become friends and equals.
What Is Whole-School Involvement?
Whole-school involvement brings special education students and their non-disabled peers together. Without this engagement, the two groups might not have much positive interaction but involving all students at schools creates climates of inclusion, acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students – with and without intellectual disabilities. Across the United States, there are more than 600,000 (over 15,000 in Northern California and Nevada alone) students involved in over 1,700 schools (190 in Northern California and Nevada). To read more, please click here and here.
Why Did Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada Start This Blog?
We wanted a place to showcase all of the heartwarming stories that we see every day in our Schools Partnership Program and whole-school involvement. We also wanted to offer fun and effective activities for teachers and administrators and to be a resource for those involved in special education. We hope the stories of the amazing work that students and teachers are doing will inspire kindness, make you think and make you motivate to bring acceptance, respect and inclusion to your campus and life.
These Are a Few of Our Favorite Posts…
- Special and General Education Bond at Unified Soccer Tournament
- The Schools Partnership Program Could Have Changed Her Life
- Take the Pledge to End the R-Word!
- 2013 Was Our Favorite
- Spotlight on Irvington High School
Can I See Video of the Schools Partnership Program?